Actually, the 'big cat' on the loose in Scotland is not a black panther

Officers warned of the ‘black panther’ sighting yesterday

Reports of a black panther on the loose in Scotland appear to be a false alarm, according to police.

Police Scotland say the sightings can likely be attributed to a regular pet cat.

A statement read: “Officers who have been investigating a number of reports of a large black cat in fields near to the B730 have been liaising with a big cat expert who does not believe that it is a black panther, however cannot yet confirm what type of animal it is.”

When Police Scotland initially told residents in Drongan and Coalhall not to approach ‘a black panther’ said to be loose on Friday, their warning sparked a wave of social media pranks, parodies and jokes.

A hoax started by Robbie Brown on Facebook tricked some users by using a black cut-out of the looming predator and placing it in various spots in a field.

A black panther is feared to be on the loose in Ayrshire.

His prank almost sent more gullible people into a frenzy, with some telling friends and family to beware the big cat.

Meanwhile, a parody account was made to taunt local police with mocking messages.

“You will never catch me… I have already moved from this area,” the parody panther account wrote, before suggesting its next location could be politically motivated.

“Heard good things about high tea at @TrumpTurnberry but it’s only for ‘Fat Cats’.”

“This just in .. made it to Ayr. Where’s best for chips?” they added.

Many Twitter users were quick to point out the dramatic reaction to similar incidents in the past, which made them sceptical of heeding the calls made to the police this morning.

“Bet ye the black panther runnin aboot Drongan is some wee grans black cat that’s been pumped full a roids n let loose,” wrote one in reaction to the surprising news.

“There is not a black panther roaming around goddamned Scotland,” said another defiant Twitter user.